When you get to know someone via social networks it pays to remember that you are not getting to know the real them. You’re getting to know the very best of themselves (as they see it), the bits of themselves that they have deemed fit to broadcast to the world.
This is important, particularly on sites like LinkedIn, where people are trying to convince you of their good character.
What’s key to remember is that this applies to you as well. The harder you try, the more removed your online persona gets from the real life you.
So here’s a tip. Wherever you can, try and take your social networks into the real world. Arrange some tweetups, go to some networking events. Maybe a conference or two (if you can afford it!). It’ll cement those relationships on social networks as well as presenting you with a massive canvas for meeting new people. It’s fun too, usually.
A couple of networking events I know about:
There’ll be hundreds more. Explore your network. Ask some questions. And if you can’t find one, organise your own.